“Lustrous hair, radiant skin, thicker nails…” these are some of the biggest selling points of collagen, which make it sound like a product geared towards women. But collagen is far from being a “vanity” supplement. It has important health benefits for both men and women. In today’s blog post, we’ll discuss six of the biggest reasons why collagen for men is worth taking.
6 health benefits for men who take collagen
In addition to a balanced diet and active lifestyle, men of all ages should consider supplementing with collagen. Here’s why:
1) Collagen is great for men’s skin
As the most abundant protein in the human body, the benefits of collagen supplements work the same way in both sexes; this includes its positive effects on skin.
Youthful skin is firm and plump. But by the time we reach our 20s, collagen production in the body slows down, causing the collagen and elastin fibers in the dermis (middle layer of the skin) to become thinner and weaker. Over time, the weakened supportive tissue leads to wrinkles and sagging skin.
Fortunately, the anti-aging skin benefits of collagen for men (and women) include improvements to skin elasticity, hydration, and dermal collagen density (1). Moreover, collagen can help speed up wound healing, which is beneficial since slower healing can lead to infection and other serious complications!
2) Collagen can help with men’s gut health
Collagen is also found in the gut lining, where it aids in the digestion and absorption of nutrients. But when gut inflammation is present, such as in irritable bowel disease, collagen levels are lower than normal. More specifically, there is an imbalance between the formation and degradation of collagen fibers, which is linked to inflammation (2).
By taking collagen for gut health, the gut can start repairing itself. But make sure you take collagen peptides, a.k.a. hydrolyzed collagen; this is the bioavailable form of collagen used in most supplements.
Collagen intake helps stimulate the body to synthesize or produce more collagen, which helps repair the gut lining (3). Additionally, some of the amino acids present in collagen are said to have the following benefits (4, 5):
- Glutamine – helps improve gut barrier conditions which is great for individuals suffering from leaky gut syndrome
- Glycine – protects against gut inflammation
- Histidine – fights oxidative stress in the gut
- Threonine – helps with intestinal wound repair
3) Collagen can help strengthen men’s bones
Both inorganic and organic matter make up human bones. The inorganic matter consists of minerals like calcium phosphate that give bone its hardness. The organic part consists mainly of collagen, providing a soft framework (6). Together, both parts make bones strong and flexible at the same time, so they can support weight and withstand stress, too.
Additionally, taking collagen peptides can help reduce bone degradation and increase bone mineral density (7). This is important for bone strength because the denser your bones are, the stronger they become.
4) Collagen may help reduce hair loss in men
If your hair is thinning or falling out due to stress or illness, then collagen may be able to help. This is because keratin – the tough protein that makes up human hair – is composed of amino acids (8). Supplementing with collagen peptides may give your body the nutrients it needs to promote hair growth.
Unfortunately, there’s no evidence that collagen can help with male pattern baldness or androgenic alopecia, a genetic condition that affects more than half of men over the age of 50.
5) Collagen may improve men’s muscle mass
Yes, collagen can help transform you from scrawny to brawny. But you will need to put in lots of work to build those muscles.
Fortunately, collagen can help with faster muscle recovery after long sessions of strenuous physical exercise (9). In addition to muscle recovery, collagen (when taken with resistance exercise training) can also help improve body composition and muscle mass (10).
However, if you’re serious about muscle building and want to maximize muscle gains, then collagen shouldn’t be your primary source of protein. A recent study found that whey protein – which naturally contains the full amino acid profile and higher levels of leucine – is superior for muscle growth than collagen alone (11).
Collagen is considered an incomplete source of protein as it lacks the essential amino acid tryptophan, and has lower levels of leucine than whey protein. That said, up to 36% of collagen peptides may be used as a protein substitute (12), which is perfect for guys who just want to be fit but not swole or jacked.
6) Collagen supports heart health in men
The heart is the hardest working muscle in the body. It starts beating when we’re only a few weeks old in the womb and doesn’t stop working until death. Keeping your heart in good shape is therefore a must so you can live a long, healthy life.
However, poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle can cause atherosclerosis, a condition where plaque builds up in the arteries. The plaque eventually narrows and even blocks the arteries from transporting blood from the heart throughout the body, causing heart attack, stroke, or death.
How can collagen help then?
The walls of the arteries are made of collagen fibers. One study found that volunteers who took 16g of collagen tripeptides daily for 6 months showed significant improvements in heart health. This is an important finding because it showed that it’s possible to treat and prevent atherosclerosis by adding collagen and other functional foods to the diet (13).
Additionally, the amino acid arginine (found in collagen) plays an important role in dilating blood vessels. Once in the body, arginine is converted into nitric oxide, a vasodilator that enhances blood flow (so the heart doesn’t have to pump too hard) and lowers blood pressure (14).
Ready to start taking the best collagen for men?
Check out our Intelligent Labs Multi-Collagen Powder! To ensure you get all the benefits of natural collagen in every scoop, we use no other ingredient apart from 100% hydrolyzed collagen peptides, sourced from grass-fed and non-GMO cows from New Zealand. Our collagen powder is not only healthy for men and women alike, but it’s great value for money, too!